Barkat secures funds for J'lem Formula 1 event
By DANIEL K. EISENBUD
Funding approved despite opposition from city's ultra-Orthodox council members, who deemed the expenditure a waste of valuable funds.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s much-touted June Formula One “Peace Road Show” was
nearly disqualified for a false start Thursday, before being approved in a
last-minute City Council meeting that night.
The road show made headlines
when it was announced earlier this month, but the Finance Committee had yet to
approve the transfer of NIS 2.5 million to fund the event, due to opposition
within the committee and from religious groups, Ynet reported.
there are more important issues that we have to spend the money on,” said Deputy
Mayor David Hadari at the time of the announcement.
His sentiments were
shared by Deputy Mayor Pepe Aflalo and Israel’s ultra-Orthodox council members,
who deemed the expenditure as a waste of valuable funds.
Jerusalem Municipality issued a statement Thursday afternoon defending the
allocation as a “one-time investment” for urban development that will also
benefit future events.
The impasse was resolved that evening at a City
Council meeting attended by Barkat and Finance Committee members.
event, which will require considerable construction of fences, concrete barriers
and safety devices, will proceed as scheduled.
Slated for June 13 to 14,
the road show will feature world-class cars and drivers representing Ferrari,
Mercedes and Audi, among others. The cars will be exhibited before the show at
the Old Train Station from June 9 to 13.
Barkat, a former race-car driver
who has competed in events in Israel and abroad, heralded the Formula One event
at a lavish press conference in the beginning of the month.
is an historic event never before witnessed in Israel,” he said. “Jerusalem
joins other leading cities in the world which hold motor sports events
attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators, who contribute greatly to the
city’s economy, tourism and world image.”
“The planned track is beautiful
and attractive, combining the Old City walls and Jerusalem’s unique landscape
with one of the most popular sports in the world,” he said.
is scheduled to travel from the Cinematheque to Sultan’s Pool and the Tower of
David, through Mamilla Boulevard. It will then continue past the King David
Hotel to Liberty Bell Park, on to the Old Train Station and then back to the
“Ferrari Challenge” cars will also participate in demo
drives, as will drift cars with powerful V8 engines. Chris Pfeiffer of Germany,
one of the world’s most renowned stunt riders, will showcase a highspeed,
The public is invited to view the event for free
from special viewing areas along the route.
Tickets for access to raised
seating spots will be available for purchase.